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Mansfield Park BBC 1983

I have continued watching Mansfield Park and I have to say it grew on me – let’s face it it is not very pretty (although I read somewhere that it won a costume award), but it is closest to the novel.

As Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield write in Jane Austen in Hollywood about this adaptation

...Moreover, while we may know that Edmund Bertram is not particularly physically striking, do we really want his earnestly bad hair style thrust constantly on our vision?

The hair styles in this version are particularly bad – wait until you see Mr Yates!

Visit to Sotherton

Visit to Sotherton

Here they are on the visit to Sotherton. Mr Rushworth has forgotten the key and Maria and Mr Crawford sneak around the gate.

Practising the Play

Practising the Play

Rehearsals for Lover’s Vows – Mr Crawford and Maria are quite enthusiastic.

Now Frank Loves Fanny

Now Henry Loves Fanny

The Maria and Mr Rushworth are married and have left for their honeymoon taking Julia with them. Henry is bored and decides to pierce a small hole in Fanny’s heart.

Fanny is in Portsmouth

Fanny is in Portsmouth

Fanny is sent back to Portsmouth where it is hoped she will rethink her rejection of Frank’s proposal. This is Frank as his best – showing real concern for Fanny and treating her (awful) parents with courtesy and respect.PDVD_017MP83_FrankMaria

A chance encounter in London and Frank runs off with Maria – oops!

The Wedding

The Wedding

And finally Edmund realises he loves Fanny after all.

I think this is a very true adaptation and worth watching if you like Mansfield Park.

Next up the Patricia Rozema’s version


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Mansfield Park BBC 1983

1983 BBC Mansfield Park

1983 BBC Mansfield Park

As part of my year of Mansfield Park, I have been watching the 1983 BBC version. I’ve only watched one episode (the Crawfords have just arrived).

I don’t have a favourite Mansfield Park adaptation – this one is closest to the novel, but the production values are poor by which I mean it is not very pretty to look at!

I have only watched one episode, but I have to say it is growing on me – particularly the two leads they do seem well-suited to each other and to their parts. I suspect fashions in acting have changed in the past 30 years because to me there seems to be a lot of over acting, but I imagine that was how the actors were directed.

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Mansfield Park 1983 BBC

This is a six part adaptation that is very faithful to the novel. It first aired in the UK in 1983. Check out the IMDb site.

To a modern audience familiar with the beautiful recent Austen adaptations, such as Sense and Sensibility, this seems dated and dull. And very quiet – there is no music in the background. It definitely lacks sparkle and prettiness (we need Andrew Davies involved).

Having said that, the acting is brilliant and as the screenplay follows the novel closely, it’s our only choice if we want to watch a faithful adaptation.

Here are some screen shots …

Opening Screen

Young Fanny and Edmund

Fanny Price

Miss Crawford, Edmund and Fanny

Miss Bertram and Mr Crawford

Fanny and Edmund

The Wedding!

Here are some more reviews…

From the Jane Austen Centre


From Screen Online



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Filed under Everything Austen Challenge, mansfield park, Television